Campus: CSU Chico -- May 14, 2003
New Irrigation Training Facility to Address Critical
Agricultural Issues of Pumping Efficiency and Water Conservation
To help educate students and the agricultural community about new efficient
uses of water, an irrigation training facility is opening at the California
State University, Chico Agricultural Teaching and Research Center (University
The training facility’s dedication will take place at 10 a.m.
on Friday, May 16, at the University Farm, 311 Nicholas Schouten Lane
Over the past three years, CSU, Chico’s College of Agriculture
has worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Public Utilities
Commission, local irrigation companies and private donors to gather
the resources needed to build the state-of-the-art irrigation training
facility. The college has collaborated with the Irrigation Training
and Research Center at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and the Center for
Irrigation Technology at CSU, Fresno on the design of the facility.
Included in the dedication ceremony will be remarks by Michael Ryan,
Bureau of Reclamation area manager, Northern California Office; Dean
David Wehner, College of Agriculture, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; Dave
Zoldoske, director, Center for Irrigation Technology, CSU, Fresno; and
Dean Charles Crabb, College of Agriculture, CSU, Chico.
The approximately $450,000 training facility includes a Supervisory
Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, a pump and meter test facility
and a model canal system. The existing farm irrigation system, pump
and meter testing facility and model canal system are all tied into
the SCADA system that can be managed in the SCADA control room as well
as in a nearby classroom.
Both CSU, Chico students and members of the regional agricultural community
will have opportunities to learn using the new equipment at the University
"This facility represents a unique partnership among agencies,
private companies and three of the California State University agriculture
programs to bring an outstanding irrigation training facility to the
North State,” said Crabb. “Agriculture water users as well
as our students will benefit from the training opportunities that will
be made possible by having this facility."
The training facility includes a 12,000-gallon pumping chamber and three
or four pumps that can be utilized in different configurations. Attached
to the pumping chamber are two 100-foot canals that are 3 feet wide
and 3 feet deep that will be fitted with a variety of measurement and
SCADA control devices.
Efficient electric pumps and automated irrigation scheduling are crucial
issues for California agriculture. Last November, the state Public Utilities
Commission collaborated with the Center for Irrigation Technology at
CSU, Fresno on a $6.4 million incentive and education program to promote
irrigation pump efficiency.
For more information about the training facility dedication, contact
the CSU, Chico College of Agriculture at (530) 898-5844.
CONTACT: Joe Wills 530-898-4143